Around The Town

Broadway Update

Spamalot, Readings and Regional

By: David Sheward

August 2, 2023: The Knights Who Say Ni, The Killer Rabbit, King Arthur and Patsy and all the other medieval maniacs are galloping back to Broadway. The Kennedy Center production of Monty Python’s Spamalot will arrive at the St. James Theater with previews starting Oct. 31 and opening Nov. 16. Josh Rhodes (Bright Star, Cinderella) will repeat his direction and choreography from the Kennedy Center production.

Alex Brightman, James Monroe Iglehart, Matthew Saldivar and the cast of Spamalot at the Kennedy Center. (Credit: Jeremy Daniel)

Spamalot, Readings and Regional

By: David Sheward

August 2, 2023: The Knights Who Say Ni, The Killer Rabbit, King Arthur and Patsy and all the other medieval maniacs are galloping back to Broadway. The Kennedy Center production of Monty Python’s Spamalot will arrive at the St. James Theater with previews starting Oct. 31 and opening Nov. 16. Josh Rhodes (Bright Star, Cinderella) will repeat his direction and choreography from the Kennedy Center production. 

Based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot opened on Broadway in 2005 and ran for 1,575 performances, winning three Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical for Mike Nichols, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Sara Ramirez. Eric Idle adapted the screenplay which he co-wrote with other members of the Python troupe, as well as writing the lyrics and co-writing the music with John Du Prez. 

“I’m thrilled to see Spamalot back on Broadway,” said Eric Idle. “More than ever, it seems we need a good laugh and it’s inspiring to see audiences still embracing this, the most happy of shows I have ever worked on. So put the News Cycle on Rinse Cycle and take a couple of hours to relax with the Lady of the Lake, King Arthur and the Knights Who Say Ni because we’re not dead yet!” 

“As we near the almost 20th anniversary of the original production, it is a great honor to restore Spamalot‘s place on Broadway for fans who have longed for its return and for new audiences to meet the Knights of the Round Table for the first time,” said producer Jeffrey Finn. “I’m thrilled to continue the Kennedy Center’s legacy of bringing great productions from D.C. to audiences in the town that never sleeps – Camelot!…I mean, New York!” 

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer in Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Kennedy Center. Credit: Jeremy Daniel

The Kennedy Center cast included Tony winner James Monroe Inglehart (Aladdin), Tony nominee Alex Brightman (School of Rock, Beetlejuice), Tony nominee Rob McClure (Mrs. Doubtfire, Chaplin), Drama Desk, Lortel and Obie winner Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar), Drama Desk nominee Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Beetlejuice, A Catered Affair), Nik Walker (Ain’t Too Proud), and Matthew Saldivar (Honeymoon in Vegas). No word if the DC cast will be repeating their performances. Casting and additional creative personnel will be announced at a later date.

Readings and Regional: In other news, there are several musicals and plays which have been in development for quite a while receiving readings and regional productions which may result in moves to New York.

J. Harrison Ghee

The musical of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, based on John Berendt’s best-selling book about a real-life murder case in Savannah, Georgia, will receive an NYC industry reading Aug. 3 and 4. The cast includes Tony winner J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot) as Lady Chablis, Steven Pasquale as Jim Williams, Austin Colby as Danny Hansford, Amber Gray (Hadestown) as Minerva, Jennifer Laura Thompson as Vera Strong, Tony winner Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Serena Barnes, Paul Nolan as Joe Odom, and Lance Roberts as Bobby Lewis.

The new musical is being directed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford, written by MacArthur “Genius” Grantee and Pulitzer Finalist Taylor Mac, with music and lyrics by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (Parade) and choreography by Tanya Birl with associate choreography by Jovan van Dansberry.

Theater Calgary will host the international premiere of Beaches the Musical based on Iris Rainer Dart’s novel of two diverse best friends, as the final show of its 2023-24 season. Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mike Stoller has joined the musical’s creative team as composer.

Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in the film version of Beaches.

“I was delighted to get a phone call from Iris asking if I would write the music for the musical Beaches. Working with Iris is always a happy process full of laughs, and collaborating with Iris, Joe, Jenn, and Lonny on this terrific project has been a joy!” said Mike Stoller in a statement. Dart will write the lyrics and co-write the book with Thom Thomas. Directed by Tony nominee Lonny Price (Sunset Boulevard – revival, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill), and co-directed by Matt Cowart (Sunset Boulevard – revival, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, 110 in the Shade, Broadway), previews begin May 18, 2024, and opens May 24, for a limited run until June16th in the Arts Commons Max Bell Theatre in Calgary. The novel was made into a hit 1988 film starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. Previous developmental productions of the show were presented in Washington, DC and Chicago.

Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou in the 2006 film of The Da Vinci Code.

Michael Urie, who starred in the Kennedy Center production of Spamalot, will headline a stage version of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The DaVinci Code, at the Ogunquin Playhouse, Ogunquit, Maine, Aug. 26-Sept. 23, along with Hannah Cruz (Hamilton) and Emmy winner Charles Shaughnessy (The Nanny). Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel adapted the blockbuster thriller to the stage.

“I find it wonderfully fitting that the U.S. premiere of The Da Vinci Code’s stage play will be here on the Seacoast at the Ogunquit Playhouse,” said Dan Brown. “Both the novel’s publishing premiere and the Tom Hanks movie premiere were here on the Seacoast and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to preserve that tradition for this exciting new production with this exceptionally talented cast.”

2023-24 Broadway/Off-Broadway Calendar

Summer 2023

Aug. 3–Back to the Future (Marquis)

Aug. 10–The Shark Is Broken (Golden)

Aug. 20–El Mago Pop (Barrymore)

Aug. 27–The Tempest (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park)

Fall 2023

Sept. 15–Prometheus Firebringer (begins previews; opening TBA) (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

Sept. 19–Merrily We Roll Along (begins previews; opening TBA) (Hudson)

Sept. 27–Purlie Victorious (Music Box)

Sept. 28–Melissa Etheridge: My Window (Circle in the Square)

Oct. 3–Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (MTC/Friedman)

Oct 4–The Refuge Plays (Roundabout/NYTW/Laura Pels)

Oct. 4–DruidO’Casey (Public/NYU Skirball Center)

Oct. 12–Gutenberg! The Musical (James Earl Jones)

Oct. 22–Here We Are (The Shed Griffin Theater)

Oct. 29–Translations (Irish Repertory Theater)

Oct. 30–I Can Get It for You Wholesale (CSC)

Nov. 1–Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage I)

Nov. 2–I Need That (Roundabout/AA)

Nov. 2–Sabbath’s Theater (New Group/Signature Theater)

Nov. 4–Waiting for Godot (begins previews; opening TBA) (TFANA/Polonsky Center)

Nov. 13–Harmony (Barrymore)

Nov. 13–Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Lortel)

Nov. 16–Monty Python’s Spamalot (St. James)

Nov. 19–Hell’s Kitchen (Public)

Nov. 20–The Gardens of Anuncia (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

Nov.–Spain (Second Stage/Terry Kiser)

Winter 2023-24

Dec. 5–Manhatta (Public)

Dec. 10–How To Dance in Ohio (Belasco)

Dec. 18–Appropriate (Second Stage/Hayes)

Jan. 9–Prayer for the French Republic (MTC/Friedman)

Jan. 17–Public Obscenities (previews begin; opening TBA) (TFANA/Polonsky Center)

Jan. 21–Aristocrats (IRT)

Feb. 26–Pericles (previews begin; opening TBA) (CSC)

Feb.–Doubt: A Parable (Roundabout/AA)

Feb.–The Ally (Public)

TBA–Brooklyn Laundry (MTC/City Center Stage I)

TBA–An Enemy of the People

TBA–I Love You So Much I Could Die (NYTW)

Spring 2024

March 24–Philadelphia, Here I Come (IRT)

March–Sally and Tom (Public)

April 5–Macbeth (an undoing) (previews begin; opening TBA) (TFANA/Polonsky Center)

April–Jordans (Public)

May 2–Wine in the Wilderness (previews begin; opening TBA) (CSC)

June–Cats (Perelman Performing Arts Center)

TBA–Cabaret (August Wilson)

TBA–Here There Are Blueberries (NYTW)

TBA–Home (Roundabout/AA)

TBA–Jonah (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

TBA–Paula Vogel Play (Second Stage/Hayes)

TBA–The Wiz

Fall 2024

King Lear (Kenneth Branagh Theater Company/The Shed)

2024-25

Smash

Spring 2025

Show Boat (Target Margin/NYU Skirball)

Future–Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death; Beaches the Musical; Black Orpheus; BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical; Come Fall in Love–The DDLJ Musical; The Devil Wears Prada; Ella: An American Miracle; Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; Frida, the Musical; Game of Thrones; The Great Gatsby; The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation; High Noon; Imitation of Life; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Karate Kid; La La Land; Lempicka; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; The Mousetrap; Nancy Drew and the Mystery at Spotlight Manor; Our Town; Pal Joey; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; The Secret Garden; Sing Street; Soul Train; Water for Elephants; What a Wonderful World; The Who’s Tommy; Working Girl.